REVIEW: Tramore artists at Protestant Hall, Church Rd.
TRAMORE artists returned to the Protestant Hall on Church Rd. last week for their annual exhibition that has been running now for over half-a-century. Until Covid interrupted! However, last week the artists were back and beaming smiles were everywhere. There’s that rainbow ring of confidence in the hall as the punters file through the old doors and onto that timber floor that could tell a thousand confidences. Memories are shared and greetings exchanged and everywhere the call is “after three years, it’s just great to be back”. There are neighbours here and friends and relatives that ooh and aah at the pictures that speak to so many lives here by the seaside.
‘There is no greater thrill for any artist than acknowledgment of talent’
Well, of course, Tramore and its magnificent hinterland and the creatures it supports are everywhere. Bernie Kane’s ‘Metal Man’ points to a seascape of blue on a windy day and Maria Delaney’s ‘Tramore’ will always bring happy memories of home. By contrast, Mary O’Meara’s ‘Metal Man’ and Michael Sexton’s ‘Metal Man’ stare forebodingly at darkened cliffs over frothy, angry seas and are reminders of just why that monument was placed there.
Rosemary Chapman’s cautionary caption of ‘Hold Tight’ hits the right note for three young boys gripping tightly to railings in the Guillamene as noisy, frothy waves of primal energy swirl around them. Terry Power is singing the same tune with her ‘No Swim Today’ – a humorous understatement given the roaring, dark blue waves and blackened rocks of her canvass, while Terry’s ‘Wild Atlantic’, with gulls fleeing and screaming for shelter from the storm of the bay, is exactly what the picture says on the tin. Michael Sexton’s ‘Kingfisher’, dazzling as an angry avenger with a small fish in his beak, brings memories of Emily Dickenson’s evocation of the cruelty of nature.
There are some other local frames here, also. Mary O’Meara’s Ballindud Mill Cottage is so real, you could almost hear the mill wheel turning. Renee Power’s ‘Tuscany’ landscape is so warm and inviting, you feel like a glass of the old vino while appreciating it. Billy Bryant’s ‘At the Seaside’ has a charm and a warmth about it that would never tire.
Still life is always interesting and Mary O’Meara’s simple white chair set against hydrangeas and Renee Power’s ‘Floral Delight’ are very appealing. Paula Brackenbury’s colourful ‘Pebbles’ is as delightful as a multicoloured meringue and her watercolour of a mother-hen calling her multi-coloured storks to order in ‘Attention Now’ brings many smiles. Rina Piercy’s watercolour of ‘Nasturtiums’ is delicate and colourful as is Michael Fitzgerald’s beaming-blue container pot of wine and variegated green and yellow.
This is an event that draws a big attendance each year and a number of people travel to the exhibition each year with the single intention of buying pictures. There is no greater thrill for any artist than acknowledgment of talent. Whenever someone buys one of your pictures, novels, sculptures or scripts, there is great encouragement to continue to produce artistic work. It doesn’t always work but there is no shortage of buyers at the Tramore Art Group Exhibition.
It’s great to see the Tramore Art Exhibition back on the annual calendar of events where welcomes and smiles are as broad as the beautiful bay that inspires so much of the Tramore artists’ work.